A game farmer in the north of South Africa, Johan Kruger, 58, was shot dead in front of his wife, Fiona, 53, last week. It was the latest incident in the ongoing series of farm attacks and murders affecting the country’s agricultural community.
The bullet entered Kruger’s head while inside his own home on his property, the wildlife resort Makoppa’s Nest at Swartwater near the Botswana border in Limpopo province. The attack occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, around 01:00. Three black attackers broke into the house via a window and started shooting at the couple. According to reports, a gang of five were involved in the attack.
After a shocked Fiona Kruger sought help from neighbours, the Alldays Farm Watch patrol sprang into action searching for the five terrorists. Three suspects were intercepted by the members of the Alldays Farm Watch Patrol. They were spotted on the road between Alldays and Vivo in a white Volkswagen Polo, after which a shoot-out between the Farm Patrol and the terrorists ensued.
According to a police spokesman, Col Moatshe Ngoepe, “during the incident the suspects shot at the members [of the farm patrol] who then retaliated, injuring one of the suspects. The other two left the getaway vehicle and fled on foot into the nearby farms”.
Ngoepe continued: “The Police were summoned and a joint search operation ensued until the second suspect, 21, was apprehended. The injured suspect is currently under police guard at a local hospital. The remaining suspect is still being sought.”
When the getaway vehicle was searched, a number of stolen items were found, including a bag of almost worthless South African coins, handguns, hunting rifles, rounds of ammunition, as well as elephant tusks and what was described as “household items”.
Given the lack of rapid response from the South African Police Service, rural communities have to organise their safety and protection. In order to catch the murderers, the Farm Watch had to block all roads in the area. Members, who are volunteers, found the murdered Mr. Johan Kruger in a pool of blood in his home, leaning against a safety gate inside. He was wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts, both blood-soaked. There were also bloodstains on the floor and on furniture.
The suspects will soon appear before the Senwabarwana and Louis Trichardt Magistrate courts respectively on charges of murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and possession of stolen property.
The low-intensity war in the South African countryside continues, with new casualties every few days. In the past week, a prominent black politician, Andile Mngxitama, has publicly called for the killing of whites before a crowd of blacks in Soweto.
“‘You kill one of us we will kill five of you. We’ll kill their women, we’ll kill their children, we’ll kill anything we find in our way,” Mngxitama said. “We’ll kill their children, we’ll kill their women, we’ll kill their dogs, we’ll kill their cats, we’ll kill anything.”
Mngxitama is the leader of a registered political party, Black First Land First which will contest next year’s general election. He could give zero evidence of any whites randomly killing blacks, but persisted with his false claims.
After various complaints to South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission, seeking that the party’s registration should be annulled on the basis of its advocating violence against a minority racial group, the Commission said it could not do anything as the statements were not made during the election period.
“The electoral commission does not have powers to take action against the BLF or its leader at this point in time within the parameters of the Electoral Act,” IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said. “The electoral commission has, however, issued a letter to the BLF’s secretary-general Yerushka Chetty. The letter, issued on Wednesday, demands that the party leader and the BLF immediately refrain from making statements which promote violence and hatred against any racial group.”